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  1. #51

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    From the Greenberg book on Billy Bean re: Getz:

    " of all of the musicians discussed, Getz was the one whom Bean had the most reluctance in speaking about. Bean was quick to bring up Getz's strange disposition and remembered three nights at Birdland that left him having to lead the band at a performance, something Bean never felt comfortable doing: He was kind of a weird fellow. I didn't get along with him all that greatly, but he was good. Eventually, it turned sour. I started drinking and got mad at him. I don't know why really. I guess I didn't like the band. I didn't like the guys too much. It just stopped. I went home and nothing else happened after that. It wasn't a good atmosphere for me. I spent some time with him, few months. We played in Detroit and New York. We played Birdland; he didn't show up for three nights. I didn't know that. What the hell am I going to do? I can't take his place. I am in front of the band. I'm standing up. So I had to go around wondering what the hell I was going to do. So it got off to a bad start and went down from there. I didn't like him too much.Gaylor remembered one time Getz left Bean unpaid and stranded: [Getz] didn't pay him. He called me up and said, "I've no place to go. Can I come over the house?" I said, "Yeah, sure." He just left him on the lurch. He left him somewhere in Pittsburgh or something; he just split. They didn't get paid, and there was no way to get back. Luckily, one of the guys in the band fronted Billy enough money to get back to New York, and then I had to give him money to pay the guy back. Bean also added that he felt tension between himself and some of the other band members:No, I don't think we liked each other. Two colored fellows on drums and bass. I don't think they liked me very much. In the beginning, it was all right. It brings up bad memories. After about four or five months of Getz's erratic behavior, Bean finally had had enough: We played Detroit. That is when I got away from him there. I kind of broke down a bit. I even cried. I didn't like the way things were going. He was indifferent and didn't care. He didn't care about anybody. He was kind of cold. I got along with him in the beginning. Detroit was the final blow. It felt like four separate guys."


    "

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  3. #52

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    Zoot Sims described Getz as ‘a nice bunch of guys’.

  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    Zoot Sims described Getz as ‘a nice bunch of guys’.
    Bean left NY after the Getz ordeal, and lived the rest of his life in his parents' house in Philadelphia. His drinking began to interfere with his ability to function socially and as a musician.
    The author interviewed Buddy DeFranco (Bean played on his "Cross-Country Suite" LP), and DeFranco compared the tragic story of Bean's to Jimmy Raney's, who also played with Getz. He said that Raney drank himself to "Skid Row" (his words), and that Raney was "angry at the world".
    Getz and Raney did not part on good terms either.
    Who knows what went on between Getz and Rene Thomas, who also didn't wind up in good shape...?

  5. #54

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    I don't know anything about Billy Bean's personal life. I know more about Jimmy Raney. I knew him, not to say all that well---but enough to glean a few things:

    Jimmy did not fall down some hole and disappear. He struggled, sure, but came back again and again from the disease to achieve artistically. And he had good family support. In the last 15 years of his life he really tried hard to go on despite serious physical obstacles. He was just about deaf at the end from Meniere's (sp?) syndrome, and still made gigs and recordings. He never did take care of his health, and was thin and gaunt and with a gray pallor. He was always skinny, though. I think he did self-isolate at the very end, but I don't call that giving up, but needing solitude and space.

    I never found him bitter, just preternaturally bright and with a sly, darkly humorous take on life...

  6. #55

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    the sadder figure was son -doug raney!!!...estranged from dad...finding his way thru nyc 60's era...hooked up with diehl early on..tragic tale..and yet such wonderful playing...had he been born just a bit later he'd have been heralded...but he was a young bop playing jazzer in a rock and fusion world...and too straight a bopper when the 90's era outside knitting factory thing happened...a man without a country..

    his trio with chet and nhop- while great, prob didnt do much for his longevity!

    jimmy and doug raney...2 greats!

    cheers

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    hooked up with diehl early on..
    When was this? I knew Eddie for 40+ years---well. He never mentioned Doug Raney once. His favorite younger player was Sean Levitt.

    But maybe I'm wrong...

  8. #57

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    somewhwere in jon raney archives...interviews?...i wasnt surprised..and yeah sean levitt..very similar sorry tale..that's just adds to it...ugh

    tho that detail, wasn't my main point either ^...regardless...

    cheers

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    somewhwere in jon raney archives...interviews?...i wasnt surprised..and yeah sean levitt..very similar sorry tale..that's just adds to it...ugh

    tho that detail, wasn't my main point either ^...regardless...

    cheers
    I'll ask Jon sometime, thanks...

  10. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf
    I don't know anything about Billy Bean's personal life. I know more about Jimmy Raney. I knew him, not to say all that well---but enough to glean a few things:

    Jimmy did not fall down some hole and disappear. He struggled, sure, but came back again and again from the disease to achieve artistically. And he had good family support. In the last 15 years of his life he really tried hard to go on despite serious physical obstacles. He was just about deaf at the end from Meniere's (sp?) syndrome, and still made gigs and recordings. He never did take care of his health, and was thin and gaunt and with a gray pallor. He was always skinny, though. I think he did self-isolate at the very end, but I don't call that giving up, but needing solitude and space.

    I never found him bitter, just preternaturally bright and with a sly, darkly humorous take on life...
    I think Buddy DeFranco was talking about the time period after he had been a member of DeFranco's small group, and one of Raney's relapses sometime afterwards.
    DeFranco seems to be completely unaware of Raney's huge comeback in the 70s. BD sounds like a jerk. If he had any awareness of Raney's life, he wouldn't have equated Raney's life with Bean's.

    Billy Bean and Dick Garcia both 'fell down some hole and both never came back', playing-wise.. Tal came back, but not the same Tal playing-wise as the Tal of the 50s.
    Rene Thomas started deteriorating towards the end, but then suddenly died of a heart attack in his early 50s.

  11. #60

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    Joe Puma to me when I once asked about Dick Garcia 'is he dead?'

    'No, but he might as well be'.

    Dark humor from him always---and he sometimes crossed the line...

  12. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf
    Joe Puma to me when I once asked about Dick Garcia 'is he dead?'

    'No, but he might as well be'.

    Dark humor from him always---and he sometimes crossed the line...
    Yeah, I must've told you that story when I asked Puma the same question, and he said, "Yeah, he's dead alright. His ghost was in here just the other night, leaning against the juke box. Some people are dead, and they don't even know it".
    I was like, "WTF?!!"
    I tracked Garcia down to Astoria, where he lives 'in isolation', according to his nephew. He's heavy into Zen Buddhism.
    I used to work with Aaron Sachs a lot, and the first question he asked me was, "Whatever happened to Dick Garcia?"
    Completely flipped me out!
    He used to do recording sessions with Garcia, and said he was a "very hung up guy, always hassled about something"
    I've got some tapes of Aaron playing in a trio with Puma. They both sound great!
    Aaron made a record with Raney..

  13. #62

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    Puma hit on a vocalist friend of mine---one with as quick a wit and sharp a tongue as his. She declined.

    Me: 'What's wrong with Joe?'

    She: 'I don't like old man sweaters'...
    Last edited by joelf; 02-22-2020 at 05:12 PM.

  14. #63

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    Dick Garcia appears on Sachs '56 co led lp w/Charlie Smith 'Jazzville Vol 3' lp on Dawn

  15. #64

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    Raney told me that Teddy Charles (another hilarious character I met years later) picked Sal Salvador---whose playing he hated---over Garcia for a cruise gig he led. The thought of being with Garcia in an enclosed space for 2 weeks was evidently too much...

  16. #65

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    funny i never think of a great player as somebody that everybodys gonna get along with..or think is totally charming..to be a great player means going deep inside your own mind..tough to work with just anybody that comes along after that

    there are many great guitarists that never made it huge in the public eye...or amongst their peers for that matter...

    means little to them i'd imagine...some just chase their art regardless of anything else..and that includes $$$ & fame


    cheers

  17. #66

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    Maybe this is the reason Raney quit the Getz band - a pen?
    (this is from the Glen Hodges thesis on Jon Raney’s website):

    Chet Baker Stan Getz, different improv approaches in 80s tour-b504db02-0643-45ba-a490-ec88e7ea469d-jpg

  18. #67

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    I think it was Keepnews that said something like he didn't like Miles personally and wouldn't listen to him because of it. but he was probably just pissed Miles wasn't on Riverside

  19. #68

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    speaking of Keepnews, here's part of an interview discussing Chet:


    Were there ever any sessions you disliked at Riverside?


    Anything that had to do with Chet Baker. Signing him was not my idea. We did four albums with him, but it was one of the few times my partner involved himself in the aesthetics of the business. Chet Baker at that time was recording for Pacific Jazz. Baker still owed them four albums, so we were going to take over the balance of the contract and do those albums. When Bill talked to Dick Bock about getting Chet there were only two conditions: One was that it said on the back of the jacket that Baker appeared courtesy of Pacific Jazz, and the other was he no longer called Dick Bock for money.I’ll say that anybody in those days with a heroin problem was a tough person to deal with. It is a habit that takes over the lives of people. But I have had successful, productive working relationships, and personal friendships, with some of the major junkies of our time. Philly Joe and Bill Evans were people I respected. Chet just happened to be the worst junkie I ever was associated with, the most problems.With Baker I was in a rare instance where I had to behave like an awful lot of people must behave-where you just go in and do what the job demands rather than what you want to do. Ninety-nine percent of the time I went into the studio with people I wanted to be with. I tried real hard with Chet, and put together some compatible players like Pepper Adams, Zoot Sims, Herbie Mann and Kenny Burrell. I think I was successful on a couple of occasions, but Chet wasn’t playing that strong at the time. I did the best I could but without any personal enthusiasm.

  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    Maybe this is the reason Raney quit the Getz band - a pen?
    (this is from the Glen Hodges thesis on Jon Raney’s website):

    Chet Baker Stan Getz, different improv approaches in 80s tour-b504db02-0643-45ba-a490-ec88e7ea469d-jpg
    I remember Ray Parker, with his shock of white hair. He was a regular at Bradley's, usually at a table behind the piano. I believe Jimmy introduced me to him---or maybe just pointed him out. Jimmy was himself an amateur painter.

    That was the chief reason it struck me as weird that he could say to me of Paul Desmond that he was 'supercilious---he thought he was better than you'---then mention, almost as an aside, that Desmond 'hung out with writers'...

  21. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    funny i never think of a great player as somebody that everybodys gonna get along with..or think is totally charming..to be a great player means going deep inside your own mind..tough to work with just anybody that comes along after that

    there are many great guitarists that never made it huge in the public eye...or amongst their peers for that matter...

    means little to them i'd imagine...some just chase their art regardless of anything else..and that includes $$$ & fame


    cheers
    I guess you didn't read the book on Bean by Seth Greenberg, but Bean had already made a name for himself with his time in the Charlie Ventura Quintet, and was flown out to LA to make the two albums with John Pisano. Once there, he impressed so many West Coast heavies, he started getting calls from people like Paul Horn, Bud Shank, Fred Katz, DeFranco, and many others for record dates.

    This was a time when you could still make a living playing jazz, if you were as talented as Bean was, and Bean was just getting big in NY. The Trio he had with Walter Norris and Hal Gaylor was heard by Bill Evans, who recommended them to Orrin Keepnews, and they made a record for Riverside.Unfortunately, they refused to use a drummer, and no clubs would hire them without a drummer.
    Getz held an audition for his group with Steve Kuhn at Birdland, and Bean was chosen over Gabor Szabo for the gig.

    Unfortunately, the Getz gig messed his head up so bad, he became a non-functional alcoholic, and his rep was shot.
    By the time Greenberg met him in Philly, Bean was living in squalor so bad, Greenberg could barely stand the stench of his house.

    Bean was not "chasing his art" anymore, in fact he hadn't touched his guitar in many years, and literally couldn't play anymore.

  22. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    funny i never think of a great player as somebody that everybodys gonna get along with..or think is totally charming..to be a great player means going deep inside your own mind..tough to work with just anybody that comes along after that.
    I think there are great artists who are difficult one way or the other but worth the effort--maybe Miles or Becker/Fagen or Frank Zappa (very demanding, not a sociopath). Then there are those who are difficult but who sabotage their careers and even their lives with their problems and make a working relationship next to impossible.

    Just because one is a great artist doesn't mean one gets a pass for being a dick.

    Obviously some people could work with Getz and Baker, some chose not to. They didn't have to be the way they were. (I heard from Getz' son that he acknowledged years later the hurt he had inflicted on his family, after he had sobered up.)

    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    This was a time when you could still make a living playing jazz, if you were as talented as Bean was, and Bean was just getting big in NY.
    This is true, but it still astounds me how few records these guys sold...a successful jazz record by a solo artist back in the day probably sold 5-10,000 copies, if that.

    Of course, Getz/Gilberto sold 2 MILLION copies back in 1964--a huge number.

  23. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    I think there are great artists who are difficult one way or the other but worth the effort--maybe Miles or Becker/Fagen or Frank Zappa (very demanding, not a sociopath). Then there are those who are difficult but who sabotage their careers and even their lives with their problems and make a working relationship next to impossible.

    Just because one is a great artist doesn't mean one gets a pass for being a dick.

    Obviously some people could work with Getz and Baker, some chose not to. They didn't have to be the way they were. (I heard from Getz' son that he acknowledged years later the hurt he had inflicted on his family, after he had sobered up.)



    This is true, but it still astounds me how few records these guys sold...a successful jazz record by a solo artist back in the day probably sold 5-10,000 copies, if that.

    Of course, Getz/Gilberto sold 2 MILLION copies back in 1964--a huge number.

    I don't know what Getz was, but he was way worse than Zappa, Davis, Becker/Fagen, or even Baker.
    I love reading musicians' auto/biographies, and anyone who worked with Getz, felt it was their special duty to tell the world what a POS he was.

    Gary Burton's autobiography spills all the dirt on Getz (and Metheny, Coryell, Sam Brown, and others) and he was forced to be Getz' road manager when he was only about 19 or 20, probably because no one else wanted to do it. He went nuts putting up with all of Getz' psycho BS, but the straw that broke the camel's back was when he found out Getz was paying him about 1/5 of what he should have been paying him! He quit immediately.

    I'm reading Mel Lewis' biography right now, and last night I read this:

    Mel was looking for a label for the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis band, and he went to Creed Taylor, who was working for Verve at the time (1966). He mentioned that he had a bad scene with CT a few years back, when he was driving Stan Getz to a record date they were both on (Stan Getz-Reflections).
    Getz was drinking all the way up to the studio. Lewis said, "When we got there, he ended up up getting in some kind of scenes and started picking on me, because I was the only guy he knew there. And I let him have it., and Creed says, 'You can't talk to my star like that.'

    I said, 'Who the hell are you, you're going to sit there and take that sh-t from him? I ain't gonna take any sh-t from you either'.
    I told them both off...and I never worked for Creed again."

    The only musician I could compare him to is maybe Arthur Lee, leader of the band Love, another real 'winner'. I love listening to Lee's and Getz' music, but no one should give them a pass for their BS.

    As far as jazz musicians living off their record sales, it rarely happened. They were all getting by with income from jazz gigs, studio work, dance band gigs, weddings, etc...
    All that work is gone now, and they have to teach or get a day gig.

  24. #73

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    kind of a tightrope that some walk when listening to our heros .
    some can tune out the extra-curricular and concentrate only on the music, others that know the extra, sometimes get hung up on it and that's understandable if one feels strongly that way.
    personally, I'm in the former camp. there's been a lot of artists that rubbed people the wrong way in one way or another [many valid reasons and I'm hip], but I try not to let that influence my opinion, likely wipe out a good number of musicians I admire ...I mean I adore Art Pepper for gosh sakes.....

  25. #74

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    When Benny Goodman died there was a joke among musicians: 'I got good news and bad news. The good news is that Benny died last night. The bad news is he died in his sleep'.

    Read Bill Crow's From Russia Without Love online to see what a mean, petty, ill-masnnered, and cheap man (who, in fairness, also risked career suicide by integrating his bands---unheard of in the '30s---at the height of his popularity) Benny could be. And he wasn't lulled or transformed by any substances---it was just who he was. Phil Woods shouting from the balcony and out the bus window 'The King of Swing sucks!'.

    But, as Mr. Woods also reminded us, we want to remember the great art'. We probably ought to try that...

  26. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    I'm reading Mel Lewis' biography right now, and last night I read this:

    Mel was looking for a label for the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis band, and he went to Creed Taylor, who was working for Verve at the time (1966). He mentioned that he had a bad scene with CT a few years back, when he was driving Stan Getz to a record date they were both on (Stan Getz-Reflections).
    Getz was drinking all the way up to the studio. Lewis said, "When we got there, he ended up up getting in some kind of scenes and started picking on me, because I was the only guy he knew there. And I let him have it., and Creed says, 'You can't talk to my star like that.'

    I said, 'Who the hell are you, you're going to sit there and take that sh-t from him? I ain't gonna take any sh-t from you either'.
    I told them both off...and I never worked for Creed again'.
    Creed Taylor did some great things with CTI, etc.---but he was far from an angel himself. He put stardom and $ first. Don't get me wrong, I understand the pressures on someone running a label promoting creative music and recording top talent. But where Orrin Keepnews of Riverside was willing to take a chance recording a no-name with great potential on the recommendation of one of his artists, let's look at the following appraisal by Taylor---one that turned my stomach and led to an unpublished letter from me to Jazz Times:

    (Paraphrasing) 'Wes Montgomery wanted to record with his brothers. But they weren't as good as him. So I recorded him with (we all know who) and he went on the road with his brothers, and everyone was happy'. What a slap in the face to Buddy and Monk! (I got to play with Buddy a few times. I feel he was every bit as talented as Wes, maybe not quite as marketable. But a unique player and gifted composer). Of course Wes sounded great with the people in Taylor's stable. He sounded great with everybody. But CT's cold-blooded statement also didn't take into account the special thing that happens musically when a super-talented family like the Montgomerys play together. They were magical, and also were considered masters and elders back in Naptown way before Wes's fame. To my ears, Wes never sounded happier than in those groups. Putting money and fame for his artist before these things Taylor may have advanced Wes's career, and I'm glad he did. Definite props for that. But he f'ed up passing on----dismissing---one of the truly special groups---family or otherwise---jazz has ever known. For shame...

  27. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf
    Creed Taylor did some great things with CTI, etc.---but he was far from an angel himself. He put stardom and $ first. Don't get me wrong, I understand the pressures on someone running a label promoting creative music and recording top talent. But where Orrin Keepnews of Riverside was willing to take a chance recording a no-name with great potential on the recommendation of one of his artists, let's look at the following appraisal by Taylor---one that turned my stomach and led to an unpublished letter from me to Jazz Times:

    (Paraphrasing) 'Wes Montgomery wanted to record with his brothers. But they weren't as good as him. So I recorded him with (we all know who) and he went on the road with his brothers, and everyone was happy'. What a slap in the face to Buddy and Monk! (I got to play with Buddy a few times. I feel he was every bit as talented as Wes, maybe not quite as marketable. But a unique player and gifted composer). Of course Wes sounded great with the people in Taylor's stable. He sounded great with everybody. But CT's cold-blooded statement also didn't take into account the special thing that happens musically when a super-talented family like the Montgomerys play together. They were magical, and also were considered masters and elders back in Naptown way before Wes's fame. To my ears, Wes never sounded happier than in those groups. Putting money and fame for his artist before these things Taylor may have advanced Wes's career, and I'm glad he did. Definite props for that. But he f'ed up passing on----dismissing---one of the truly special groups---family or otherwise---jazz has ever known. For shame...
    Mel Lewis had another meeting with Creed Taylor in 1966 to see if he could work out a deal for the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Band.
    Creed listened to tapes of the original band, and said "It sounds great, but I couldn't sell that."
    Mel said, "If it sounds great, then you can sell it."
    Creed said he'd have to change it a lot.
    Mel walked out on him, and went to Solid State, which was run by guys like Manny Albam. The rest is history. Mel was a mensch.

  28. #77

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    Creed Taylor seems to be a fairly controversial figure these days, as if he somehow went around castrating artists, whose only goal (of course!) was to make great art. I have also read a lot of people trying to minimize his role in some great recordings of the time.

    Personality aside, he had a pretty good track record. He produced the Getz/Gilberto album and great records by Chet, Nina Simone and Herbie Hancolc among others.

    It's easy to make light of the management and producers, but records (especially back then) don't make and sell themselves.

  29. #78

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    As far as assessing artists' personal failings, I find it interesting, particularly if it relates to how they made their art. (Van Gogh's mental health issues, Rimbaud's syphilis, etc.)

    I think we have to be careful in being too judgmental--using it as the sole determinant of whether something is worthy.

    In the end one does have to deal with the art. I can listen to Getz and Chet all day, and look at Gauguin and Picasso paintings, and watch movies by Polaski and even probably something with Kevin Spacey in it.